After the economic measures announced by President Maduro, the coyotes return to the attack, increasing the volume of the Venezuelan emigration situation to levels of stridency, describing the phenomenon as “an unprecedented humanitarian crisis” and presenting it as irrefutable proof that a serious situation is occurring in Venezuela that requires “Humanitarian Aid” and thus justifying foreign intervention. A new plan that honors the statements that former President Obama made some time ago in a cynical and unusual interview for the US portal Vox: “We have the strongest army in the world and occasionally we have to twist the arm of countries that don’t want to do what we want them to do… /If we didn’t have that dose of “political realism” we wouldn’t be able to achieve our goals.
Several simultaneous news items related to emigration have caused a great stir in recent days: the repatriation of 89 Venezuelans from Lima in a plane made available by the Bolivarian government, which described the far from idyllic conditions in which they had to survive in a now xenophobic and neo-liberal Peru; the growing number of Venezuelans, as demonstrated by the thousands of demands in consulates and embassies, who want to return to the country, stimulated by the recent measures launched by the government to confront the economic war; the recent statements by Republican Senator Marcos Rubio cataloguing Venezuelan emigration as a threat to regional security; the call by Luis Almagro for an ordinary session of the OAS Permanent Council on September 5 to address the “migration crisis” caused by the situation in Venezuela; and the analysis of this situation by Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s representative to the UN.
The repatriation of Venezuelans has shown the hidden face of this exodus, and it is becoming obvious that the now called “immigration crisis”, as well as the induced “economic crisis”, makes visible the advertising artists who are experts in building “realities” in the best Hollywood style. In an interview with Telesur, journalist Madeleine García, who accompanied the returnees on their journey, reported on the staging, which was meticulously prepared to take a photo of the “mass exodus of Venezuelans fleeing the dictatorship”, for which they stopped the normal heavy traffic on the bridge of the Colombian-Venezuelan border, where thousands of people come and go on a daily basis, they waited for a large number to accumulate in a small space, and so captured the “photo”, which the international media then spread around the world, showing a long procession of people crossing the international Simon Bolivar bridge and convincing world public opinion that there is a massive “diaspora”. And here is the question: Are migrants being used to strengthen the record of the “humanitarian crisis”?
According to the results of a study by the United Nations Migration Organization (IOM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, 67 per cent of the persons who have crossed the border in the three municipalities of Cúcuta, Villa del Rosario and Arauca at official and unofficial border crossing points between Colombia and Venezuela are Colombian nationals (including binational persons), while 33 per cent are Venezuelan nationals. When asked about the reasons for travelling to Colombia, 52% said they crossed to shop, 17% to visit family, 14% for work, 5% said they crossed for tourism, 2% for education and 10% for other reasons. According to information gathered by Migración Colombia from May 1, 2017 to date, the vast majority of the 455,094 Venezuelan people registered have a temporary vocation in Colombia, and more than 50% of them enter the border area to buy food.
The Minister of Communication and Information, Jorge Rodríguez, said that after the recent arrival of 89 Peruvian nationals who had suffered bad experiences in the South American country, they have received thousands of requests to facilitate future returns. For his part, President Maduro said Tuesday that he would implement a return plan for Venezuelans. “All those Venezuelans who have left for other places, and want to return to their homeland, will be received with love and commitment to fight for the country.
This, through the “Back to the Homeland” Plan, a social program to protect the population that decided to emigrate and are in a bad situation, with special attention to those in Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador where a strong xenophobic reaction has been unleashed against them. It is not good news for the coyotes to witness the arrival of planes returning repatriated, they are losing “the Hollywood show” that they are inducing and staging around the emigrants considering that more than 750 “fake news” have been generated from March 2 to August 28 on the subject of emigration of Venezuelans, 187 only in August and 80% of them within Venezuela.
The Executive Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, in a press conference, recalled that in 2014 the then head of the U.S. Southern Command threatened to invade the country and quoted her as saying: “If a humanitarian crisis were to arise in Venezuela, the United States would intervene militarily”.
The vice president denounced that the Lima Group altered the numbers of Venezuelan emigrants, the most used and least verified amount being that of four million emigrants, and reported that he held a meeting with representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in which he presented evidence urging Venezuelans abroad to declare themselves as “refugees” and announced that the government will work closely with UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to sincerely discuss the numbers of Venezuelan migrants who have been bulged “unhealthily” by the Lima Group.
The Vice-President clarified that a distinction must be made between refugees or forcibly displaced persons who are forced to flee due to violence and war, violating their human rights, and economic migrants who are people who decide to emigrate, for personal reasons in search of a better economic situation. Venezuelans are “economic migrants”. Venezuela is not experiencing a war situation that is conceptually defined by UNHCR as displaced persons or forced refugees as a result of the violation of their human rights.
On the other hand, and since this unconventional war against Venezuela is being waged from abroad, on August 29, Republican Senator Marco Rubio from Florida declared in an interview for Univision that he had held a meeting with Donald Trump’s government’s National Security advisor, John Bolton, in which they discussed the issue of the crisis in Venezuela and its repercussions for the United States and Latin America. He added that for years he refused a military option in the case of Venezuela, but now circumstances have changed and he believes that there are strong arguments for considering that the government of Nicolás Maduro represents a threat to his country and the Latin American region.
The day after these statements by Marcos Rubio, the OAS, at the request of Luis Almagro, convened an urgent meeting to address the “Venezuelan migration crisis. In a forum held in Santo Domingo, Almagro already announced that the Permanent Council would meet to address the mass exodus of Venezuelans, which he considered “the largest exodus that has ever existed in the history of the Western Hemisphere”. The Venezuela attacked by Almagro has 5,600,000 Colombians in its territory who have fled the endless war in Colombia, 400,000 Ecuadorians and 500,000 Peruvians, according to Venezuelan government records, and Venezuela has received them with open arms and without creating an international scandal, on the contrary, all enjoying the social benefits of the Bolivarian Revolution, but this is not an issue that has been considered to be discussed at the meeting proposed by the OAS.
According to the analysis made by the Venezuelan representative to the UN, Samuel Moncada, Venezuela is entering a dangerous phase of aggression. “Everything indicates that this is not a resolution on migrants but a declaration of a “casus belli” against Venezuela. The declaration of a failed state that is unable to act on its own territory and generates a humanitarian crisis that destabilises the region and can only be stopped by a humanitarian intervention’. We must denounce in all the UN agencies, in all the multilateral fora and in all the States of the OAS what they would be deliberately or inadvertently supporting. This is an action of force against Venezuela. Not a resolution on migrants and the OAS is the platform for aggression. The script is nothing new and has already been used in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and so many other countries that have been invaded by the United States under the pretext of bringing humanitarian aid.
For my part, I join in Samuel Moncada’s request for denunciation and I express with faith my desire that this maneuver by the Coyote Boys international orchestra to destroy Venezuela be turned against them once again, as has happened with all their Machiavellian plans, and it is the intention of this letter that there be many in solidarity with this request.
Translated from Spanish by Pressenza London